Meg Whitman’s Opportunity to Reaffirm HP Investors with Q4 Earnings

Hardware giant Hewlett-Packard will report its earnings in its latest fiscal quarter after the stock market closes Wednesday, and the progress it has made ever since former eBay head Meg Whitman took the rein. She was chosen to lead the company after the two previous CEOs derailed HP, at least in the eyes of its shareholders.

HPQ is currently priced 40 percent less than a year ago, according to a Forbes report. This is the result of not just unstable management but also a shaky PC industry.

“While most analysts think Whitman made the right call, the PC industry isn’t healthy right now. That’s largely because selling new computers is becoming increasingly difficult as more consumers embrace smartphones and computer tablets such as Apple Inc.’s iPad. Making the things even tougher, there was a shortage of hard disk drives — a key PC component — late last year after massive flooding closed factories in Thailand. A weakening economy in Europe and a strengthening dollar in the U.S. also undercut PC’s sales.”

Former chief exec Leo Apotheker went as far as proposing to spin off HP’s $42 billion PC unit, a potential move that was left on the table until Whitman decided otherwise. Under her leadership, the manufacturer’s consumer business is receiving some new inspiration in the form of several recent launches and renewed investment in webOS.

Hewlett-Packard is also pushing towards the enterprise, a market in which it has been seeing a lot of growth with plans for more in the near future. Its success in this area throughout the past months  can be credited to a number of different initiatives, including its work with big data. One of the best and latest examples is Gen8 – the newly launched “idiot-proof” ProLiant server that, in addition to featuring a whole lineup of cost cutting measures, was specifically developed to handle data-driven workloads.